Happy Hour Hacks – How to Have Fun + Stay in Shape

Whether you need to blow off steam after work or you’re attending a corporate mixer after hours, happy hours are often an extension of your professional career. Grabbing a drink with a co-worker or meeting others in your industry for drinks can be good for your personal and professional lives.

But it isn’t always good for your fitness. Avoiding these events is nearly impossible—so we’ve created some hacks so you don’t have to undo all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym. Here’s how you can enjoy yourself after work, without sabotaging your gains.

Hack #1 – Beware of beer

Some types of beer can have 300 or more calories per pint. Those calories can add up quickly, especially if you drink more than one.

A good rule to remember for beer is that the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. If you know you’ll just drink one, you might want to splurge for your favorite. But if a longer night means you’re going to keep them coming, you might want to opt for light beer instead.

Happy Hour Tips

Hack #2 – Choose cocktails wisely

The majority of the calories in cocktails comes from the mixers. Drinks are quickly loaded with sugar when juice or pre-made mixes are added. Add flavor to liquor by adding in seltzer, club soda, and lemon or lime wedges.

Some drinks that won’t set you back too far include:

 – Vodka seltzer

 – Old fashioned

 – Gin and tonic

 – Scotch on the rocks with a splash of water

 – Tequila, club soda and lime

Hack #3 – Snack Smart

Choose snacks with protein like meatballs, shrimp cocktail and hummus. These foods will fuel you and help fill you up. Avoid filler foods like chips and fried cheese. These snacks will leave you feeling heavy, but not satiated.

Hack #4 – Try to eat beforehand

Going to a party or restaurant on an empty stomach is a surefire way to sabotage your efforts at the gym. Add in a few drinks that night and you’re bound to overeat on foods full of fat and carbs. Enjoy a healthy and filling lunch, and maybe even an afternoon snack so you aren’t showing up to your event famished.  

Hack #5 – Hydrate

Drinking water throughout the night will help hydrate you and make you feel fuller. It will also slow you down and prevent you from ordering too many drinks, while also keeping your caloric intake lower for the night.

Hack #6 – Be Mindful of the Snacks

It’s really easy to nosh all night and not even realize how much you ate at the end. Instead of grabbing bites here and there, make a plate and pay attention to what you’re eating. You’ll be more aware of what you consume and more satisfied in the end as well.

Keep your gains in the gym and not on your bar tab. Hit your next happy hour with these tips and you can enjoy a night out with friends or co-workers while staying in shape!

Sara M

Sara M

Sara M. is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and freelance writer living and working near Boston, MA. As a former CrossFit gym owner and current fitness lover, Sara has a lot of personal and professional experience inside and outside the gym. She loves to write about various topics related to health, wellness, nutrition, human behavior, and self-mastery.

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